OSU senior quarterback and co-captain Craig Krenzel has aspirations of going on to medical school after his playing days are over. Krenzel’s plans to go on to graduate school got a major boost Tuesday as he was named the Vincent dePaul Draddy Award winner by the National Football Foundation.
Krenzel bested a fast field of scholar-athletes from across the country, including Ole Miss’ Eli Manning and Miami’s Jonathan Vilma, to win the “Academic Heisman”. As a finalist, he had already received an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Draddy Award winner receives a total of $25,000 in scholarship money.
He received the award last night at an awards dinner at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. OSU athletic director Andy Geiger was also honored as the John Toner Award winner as the nation’s top athletic administrator.
Krenzel is the second OSU athlete to win the prestigious Draddy Award, following Bobby Hoying in 1995. The award was established in 1990.
Prior to going to New York, Krenzel discussed how he has juggled academics and athletics.
“You just have to be able to manage your time,” Krenzel said. “It’s all about having priorities and what you want to do. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit of social time. If you have your priorities straight and know what you want to do and how to manage your time and just make the effort, it’s not that hard.”
Seldom does a player rise to the top of both the academic and athletic world like Krenzel has. His 3.68 GPA in Molecular Genetics proves his academic prowess, while his leadership on the gridiron led Ohio State to its first national championship in 32 years in 2002.
A second-team Academic All-America in 2002, Krenzel received The Sporting News Socrates Academic Award and recorded a perfect 4.0 in four quarters. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, he received the Ohio State Academic Achievement Award three times, Dean’s List recognition six times and the Ohio State Exceptional Academic Award 11 times.
Under center, Krenzel led the Buckeyes to a perfect 14-0 season including a victory over top-ranked and defending national champion Miami (Fla.) in the 2003 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, of which he was named Offensive MVP. A Second Team All-Conference pick, Krenzel compiled 2,478 yards of total offense in 2002, the fifth-best total all-time at OSU. Named Archie Griffin Offensive Player of the Year and voted OSU’s Co-MVP for the 2002 season, he ranks eighth all-time with over 3,300 career passing yards.
Krenzel was named a team captain this season, helping guide the Buckeyes to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2. In his career as a starter, Krenzel is 23-3 for the Buckeyes. OSU never lost a game at Ohio Stadium with Krenzel as the starter.
Krenzel, a native of Sterling Heights, Mich., is also active in the community. He is a frequent visitor to the James Cancer Hospital and Children’s Hospital. A speaker at numerous engagements, he also volunteers at a local food pantry, charity fundraisers and during Right To Read Week.
Past recipients of the award include: Brandon Roberts, Washington University in St. Louis (2002); Joaquin Gonzalez, University of Miami (2001); Kyle Vanden Bosch, University of Nebraska (2000); Chad Pennington, Marshall University (1999); Matt Stinchcomb, University of Georgia (1998); Peyton Manning, University of Tennessee (1997); Danny Wuerffel, University of Florida (1996); Bobby Hoying, Ohio State University (1995); Rob Zatechka, University of Nebraska (1994); Thomas Burns, University of Virginia (1993); Jim Hansen, University of Colorado (1992); Brad Culpepper, University of Florida (1991); Chris Howard, U.S. Air Force Academy (1990).
College football playing student-athletes must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), have shown superior academic application and performance, have outstanding football ability as a first team player, and have demonstrated outstanding leadership and citizenship to be eligible for The National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Awards.
With 119 chapters and over 13,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America’s young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., PLAY IT SMART, The NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and scholarships of nearly $1 million for College and High School Scholar-Athletes.